Jaipur Travel Guide

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Jaipur was founded by the great astronomer, politician and mathematician Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and is India's first planned city. It was designed according to the ancient principles of Indian architecture, which typically called for tall fortresses and a highly organized network of roads and avenues. At present, even considering the multitude of development projects being undertaken, the town planning in this capital of Rajasthan is above par compared to the rest of the cities in India. Jaipur got its nickname, the "Pink City," due to the color used to paint the buildings to welcome the Prince of Wales in 1876 (they get a retouch every 10 years) and its sights and attractions are as lively as the color that bathes the place.

 

Sights

The City Palace, the outer wall of which was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II himself, is many visitors' first stop and point of orientation. While you're in the area, visit the Jantar Mantar, the original observatory of Jai Singh, and check out the antique instruments. Another palace, the Jal Mahal (or Water Palace), is truly a remarkable sight, built in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. The Amber Fort, with its hour-long light show in the evenings, is a must-see attraction after dark. The beautiful landscaped gardens of Jaigarh Fort and the amazing views of Jaipur on offer at Nahargarh Fort are certainly worth a visit as well. Another popular attraction is Hawa Mahal, a stunning and ornate palace whose many-shuttered windows were designed to offer ladies of the court a discreet view of the bustling street below. The Temple of the Sun God at Galta and the Royal Gaitor should also be on your sightseeing itinerary. The Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, the Central Museum and the Museum of Indology are also recommended.

 

Dining

Be sure to sample churma, murgh ko khaato and kacher mass while you're in the city. You'll find them in the numerous restaurants around central Jaipur, especially along M.I. Road. In the old city, eateries can be found clustered in Johari Bazar and Nehru Bazar. A variety of vegetarian fare is available along Shiv Marg in Bani Park.

 

Shopping

Bazaars are a great way to experience the traditional shopping in Jaipur. You can even try your hand at haggling. The Tripolia Bazar features iron trinkets and utensils, while Nehru Bazar has colorful fabrics and shoes made of camel skin. For upscale fabrics and clothes, go to Anokhi. If you're into Ayurveda, you can buy preparations at the Himalaya. If jewelry is your thing, your best bets are Siredeori Bazar and Johari Bazar, while antiques and carpets are plentiful along Amber Road.

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